Our team of expert tax lawyers has a proven track record of successfully defending both individuals and companies in civil and criminal HMRC investigations in the UK and overseas.
This includes investigations regarding the alleged evasion of income tax, corporation tax and VAT (including missing trader/carousel frauds) as well as investigations into tax avoidance schemes (including film investment schemes, pension schemes, patent investment schemes, and schemes investing in contracts for difference) and investigations arising from money laundering proceedings.
Despite headlines of resource constraints within HMRC and criticism that it does not do enough to tackle tax evasion on an individual or corporate level, HMRC’s powers and the zeal of its fraud investigations unit should not be underestimated.
HMRC has ambitious prosecution targets and is under pressure to do all it can to protect the public purse. It also has new legislative tools at its disposal to hold parties to account.
How we can help
We can support those who find themselves in HMRC’s sights for a serious tax matter in a variety of ways:
- We advise on how to respond to HMRC enquiries and assist with information disclosure.
- We work closely with other specialist professionals (for example, tax accountants, forensic accountants and tax counsel), in order to persuade HMRC to resolve potential tax disputes in clients’ best interests, be that through tax tribunals, civil proceedings and/or a negotiated settlement (Under Code of Practice 8 or 9).
- We can provide rapid and immediate assistance in “crisis situations” – for example, following arrest(s) or dawn raid(s). We can also attend the police station and advise on the scope and legality of search warrants if required.
- We provide specialist advice in the event a tax investigation is linked to related money laundering proceedings.
- Should matters take the route of a criminal prosecution, we will ensure the strongest possible defence is advanced at court.
- We also advise on the corporate offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion (Criminal Finances Act 2017).
- We provide specialist advice on the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
We recognise that UK tax law is complex and that it is possible to get things wrong. For HNW individuals with complicated international investments and a non-domicile status, that can especially be the case. Companies or trusts too may find themselves in HMRC’s gaze for the wrong reasons. With recent changes to the law, what were once considered legitimate tax planning steps may now be regarded as being on the wrong side of the line.
We also assist those who have taken deliberate tax evasion measures and need to mitigate their position.
We understand that HMRC investigations are stressful and can have serious consequences. We have an excellent track record of resolving matters before charges are brought wherever possible and protecting our clients’ interests when the authorities are determined to pursue criminal litigation.
If you are concerned about a tax investigation please contact one of our specialist tax investigation lawyers.
WHAT CLIENTS AND DIRECTORIES HAVE SAID
Leading practice in the representation of individuals in regulatory investigations or enforcement actions, drawing upon significant strength in employment, criminal and white-collar law to offer a complete service in the area. Highly experienced in cases involving issues such as insider trading and mis-selling of products. Also assists individuals under investigation for alleged market manipulation and anti-competitive behaviour.”
Chambers UK 2020 – A Client’s Guide to the UK Legal Profession
Unique perspective on tax from the point of view of premier league litigators.”
Legal 500 UK 2020
Absolutely well suited for handling litigation for a high net worth client base.”
Chambers & Partners, High Net Worth Guide, 2019
I believe their strength lies in their meticulous attention to detail and the intelligence of the individuals employed by that firm. I could not imagine a better law firm.”
Chambers and Partners 2018
Excellent performance: timely and reassuring.”
Chambers and Partners, 2017
They are very knowledgeable about the law, and very skilled at representing individuals. They have tremendous depth of understanding of the law and are extremely good at working with co-counsel and developing the facts of the case.”
Chambers UK, A Clients Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2017